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Is Your Marketing SMS Plan Working? What to Track to Measure Your ROI


How do you measure whether your marketing SMS plan is generating a positive ROI?

If you’ve recently launched your own SMS marketing campaign — or need to prove to your boss your current one is working — you’ll need a comprehensive way to track your efforts and success.

The good news is there are just as many key performance indicators (KPIs) with mass texts as there are with any other marketing platform like email or social media outreach.

Even though mass texts are a single text message sent from an organization to a large group of subscribers, you can track metrics for individuals, specific offers, then the entirety of your campaigns, and much more.

And with the help of this guide, you’ll learn the specific metrics to track so you can accurately gauge your hard work and make the necessary adjustments to improve things going forward.

8 KPIs to Track and Measure ROI of Your Marketing SMS Plan

You may be able to find several of these metrics in your business SMS dashboard, but others will need to be calculated or added to a spreadsheet to keep track of.

So when it comes to your marketing SMS plan, pay close attention to these top key performance indicators specifically:

#1: Opt-Ins

Your opt-in rate is a figure that measures how many new subscribers you gain each month.

As with many marketing metrics, with the exception of your opt-out rate, growth is your focus here.

Looking at your monthly opt-in average, you can quickly gauge whether you need to increase your marketing efforts or improve what you’re already doing.

If you’re seeing steady growth here, you’ll know the top part of your funnel, which is where you’re generating leads, is working efficiently.

And if your opt-in rate isn’t so great, consider this the first area to tackle before moving on.

Think about how you can encourage customers to sign up for your mass texts by answering the question: What’s in it for them?

With a good offer like a discount code or free item, you’ll see an uptick in opt-ins. And if you don’t see new opt-ins, your incentive isn’t that enticing.

Try to create monthly opt-in goals to measure this so you can hit your total subscriber benchmark, which happens to be the next metric you should be watching.

#2: Total Subscribers

As the name suggests, your entire SMS subscriber list falls under the metric of total subscribers.

So instead of only measuring how many people are joining your list each month, this tracks the total number of subscribers, both new and existing, from month-to-month.


Your total subscribers’ number should be growing as steadily as your opt-in rate (and will fall according to your opt-out rate).

For more tips on growing your subscriber list, be sure to check out this guide when you’re done reading this one.

When you record your total subscriber number each month, you can then plug it in to calculate this next important metric.

#3: Growth Rate

While your opt-in rate looks at how many new subscribers are added each month, the growth rate gives you an overall picture of how your list is doing from month-to-month.

It also shows you if you’re consistently adding new subscribers and growing.

Since your growth rate is known as the health of your list, you’ll need to find this number in order to learn how your SMS marketing campaigns are performing.

And to get that figure, your first step is to add your monthly total subscribers to an Excel or Google Sheet.

From there you can then calculate the CAGR, or compound annual growth, manually or using a calculator.

This gives you a solid benchmark for growth rate to compare how well your SMS marketing efforts are hitting your and your team’s targets.

In addition to adding new subscribers and paying attention to those figures, you should also be mindful of this next metric.

#4: Opt-Outs

Getting people to sign up for your mass text alerts is only the first step.

The second is trying your best to keep your subscribers there, which is easier said than done.

To see if people are really interested in what you have to say, check out your opt-out rate, which measures how many subscribers change their mind and leave your list.

If you notice a high opt-out rate, your subscribers aren’t as engaged as they could be. Otherwise, they would have stayed.

To improve this situation, make sure you’re keeping these 6 SMS guidelines in mind before your subscriber numbers plummet on a downward spiral.

One way your list can go south is with a high number of undeliverables.

#5: Deliverability Rates

Your delivery rates can be found under your deliverability report.

This important metric also gives you a peek into the health of your list.

If dozens of texts keep getting kicked back, your list needs major work.

So first, consider how you’re collecting your subscribers’ phone numbers.

Are people handwriting them in at a trade show booth for your employees to enter into your subscriber list later on?

Or do they sign up online via your website?

If handwriting and transfers are the issue, try using an electronic method such as a tablet sign-in.

And if a plethora of fake numbers come in through your opt-in offers, add an extra layer or “gate”, so to speak, to discourage people from entering phony contact information.

Using a text like, “Text 0627 to claim your free offer,” you can ensure that new person is using a working phone number that can be recorded as is, rather than being input incorrectly from a potential customer or someone from your team.

When you combine your deliverability reports with your opt-in sources, or this next metric, you’ll have a better handle on where the disconnect is with those numbers that don’t work.

#6: Opt-In Sources

Your opt-in sources metric is just as straightforward as it sounds: it’s where your subscriber phone numbers are coming from.

But this metric holds more powerful secrets than the simple nature its name implies.

See, this metric in particular can give you a better understanding of where your efforts are working and help you identify when they’re not so you can adjust accordingly.

Do you have a huge number of subscribers coming from Facebook?

Or do you capture more people on your website?

Find the source with the highest traffic and try to replicate those strategies elsewhere, such as tweaking your call to action or opt-in offer, to improve all of your referral sources.

Your opt-in sources can also help you come up with this next figure.

#7: Conversion Rate

Your conversion rate is simply how many subscribers actually took action, or converted, from your mass text alerts.

While this number requires a bit more work to calculate, the effort is certainly worth the intel you’ll gain.

To be able to track this metric, you need to assign things like discount or referral codes to your texts and encourage your customers to use them so you see where people who take action come from.

You can also ask your customers in the usual How did you hear about us? fashion to find out if your mass texts are driving people to take action.

High conversion rates mean your subscribers are both engaged and active, two things you want to show off.

It also pays to focus on this final figure.

#8: Cost Per Acquisition

Anytime you’re talking ROI and marketing, inevitably the cost per acquisition, or CPA, is going to come up.

Your cost per acquisition, or the amount of money it takes to acquire one new subscriber, should be a number you have handy.


So consider how much your team has spent on its SMS marketing efforts in relation to how much revenue you’ve generated from your campaigns.

This is where those tracking codes from the previous metric can be clutch.

With these, you can directly tie your efforts to a specific action, such as a sale using a discount code.

Do this and you’ll be able to prove your SMS marketing efforts yield a positive ROI.

And if they don’t yet, start back at the first metric on this list and work your way through all eight to improve your strategy and turn things around.

You’ll earn that solid ROI you’ll be proud of in no time.

Track Your Marketing SMS Efforts Today

As with any marketing platform, you should be tracking your efforts to see if your hard work is paying off.

But this is especially important when it comes to using a new medium such as mass texts alerts.

If you or your boss need to see whether your marketing SMS plan returns a positive ROI, or is at least heading in that direction, these eight metrics will show you everything you need to know.

Start tracking your SMS marketing today using a reliable business SMS service that offers most of these tracking options and you’ll have less work to do calculating them yourself!

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